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Ski Length

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
In recent years, due in part to “shaped” skis, everyone seems to be going to much shorter skis. I am 6’ 210lbs. and I have though about going to a 170 from a 183. I use to ski a 203.

I liked to hear your opinion on the subject.

post #2 of 9
It really depends on the type of ski and the terrain. It definitely is true that ski design has drastically shortened lengths, and that technique, while slower to respond, has begun to take advantage of them.

If you want a quick eye-opener of how fun a short ski can be, get a set of short slaloms in the 155-165cm range. While rough snow will be more of a workout, they do make really fun turns at respectable speeds (higher than most resorts allow). They do require a different style of skiing to be used effectively, but it's more than worth the effort. Even my GS skis have dropped to around 180cm to take advantage of the technology. A good line beats raw speed any day.

With that said, my powder/rough snow skis are still in the 190cm range, and length will always be able to bridge the rough spots and save your legs.

For a one-ski fits-all-terrain, I still would go with the 180cm range in a mid-fat or all-mountain design. If you can afford specialized tools, a shorty slalom for ripping on the groomers and a mid-fat on the off-piste stuff is a good combination.

Demo a bunch of sizes of the same ski to see which one works for you. Sometimes that's all you need to do to make up your mind.
post #3 of 9
John, "My opinion" is that you need to give us more info ie:

- your ability
- how and where you like to ski (cruise / aggressive / groomers / out the back / etc)
- category of ski you're thinking of (slalom / mid-fat / etc)

FWIW I can tell you that the length of skis I have purchased over the last 8 years, for energetic all mountain skiing, >75% off piste, look like this in chronological order:

Me = 70kg, level 8.
post #4 of 9
Just take a lesson if you are in transition from a 203 straight to a 170 shaped ski.

Your first day may be filled with words that ....

Essentially, the very skis that I demoed three years ago and panned as worthless overkill (huge shovel and narrow waist), are now my favorites.
post #5 of 9
I agree with the replies you have so far. You gotta get new skis! But be careful making that selection. Be sure to compare and ask about the materials used in the ski. The reason these new, arc ripping skis, have been able to get so small is the advancement in materials. Materials that were too expensive or too difficult to work with a couple of years ago are now providing the strength and durability to allow a 6' 200lb world cup racer to ski on a 155. But not all the short skis have the same materials and you might find a big guy like you folding your new skis up and launching down the hill head first like a giant lawn dart. Do your homework!

[ July 22, 2002, 10:18 AM: Message edited by: fastskis ]
post #6 of 9
...head first like a giant lawn dart...
dammit fastskis!! ...I'm trying to work here, and this kind of thing is not helping AT ALL )
I'm meant to be cutting code but its hard to concentrate when you're laughing so much...

[ July 22, 2002, 08:44 PM: Message edited by: grum ]
post #7 of 9
JC is a rippin level 3 from Perfect North Slopes. I don't know why, other than the owners name they would pick Perfect North for a name cause its practically in Dixie but what the heck.
John I went short and never looked back. Try Volkl's T 50 Supersport in a 170cm. They rip in ice or corn mashed potatos. For that matter, grab anybody's top of the line slalom.
post #8 of 9
I just want to clarify what I said before and state the obvious. Some skis are meant to be skied really short and some longer. A 160cm Bandit XXX (if they make one) is not the same as a 160cm Atomic 9.16. Certain skis are just made to perform better in certain lengths.

Go to Peter Keelty's website and see what models he suggests trying for your style of skiing. There's a ton of information there to help you narrow down your choices, but it really is up to you to try several different models and sizes to see what works.
post #9 of 9
I'm 5'11" 230# and skied 210 traditional skis. I skied 195ish early shaped skis. On the constructions we find today I have skis that range from 160 through 188. I find I settle in to a 180 in my all mountain, go anywhere, anytime, instruct, do everything skis. When I go longer I find I give up too much agility (mind you I did not find that in 210cm traditional skis). When I go to my shorter skis I find they give up versatility. Since you are similar in size to me I believe you would find the same.

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